Giving Thanks — A LifeWords Devotion - Hope 103.2

Giving Thanks — A LifeWords Devotion

Things might be bad, but God remains good. I can both lament the badness and thank God for his goodness in the midst of it.

By David ReayThursday 27 Aug 2020LifeWords DevotionalsDevotionsReading Time: 1 minute

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.(NLT)

It is interesting how just one small word can make a very big difference. Paul invites us to be thankful “in” all circumstances, not “for” all circumstances. Embracing this difference allows us to understand just what it means to be thankful.

We cannot thank God “for” all circumstances. That would mean we thank God for a child’s brain tumour, or thank him for a terrorist attack on innocent civilians. It comes dangerously close to attributing such evil to God himself.

Rather, we thank God “in” all circumstances. Meaning that we don’t thank him for the circumstances themselves but for the fact he remains faithful in the midst of those circumstances. Our mindset of thankfulness is not based on external circumstances but on our recognition of God’s goodness even if those circumstances are far from good.

This sort of thankfulness also avoids the sort of pious denial common among those who just whistle a happy tune and refuse to acknowledge the bad things of the world. This is unreal and not sustainable. We do face the sad realities of our world. Thankfulness does not deny these, but puts them in a larger and deeper context.

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Things might be bad, but God remains good. I can both lament the badness and thank God for his goodness in the midst of it.

Blessings

David